When you have no electricity during a power outage, it can get a little tricky finding something good to eat.  You may need to be a little resourceful.  Just as I was about to put my freshly made lasagna in the oven the other day, our power failed.  Luckily we had a generator, so I cooked it in a toaster oven.   The next day, we ran out of gas, so we grilled our frozen pizzas outside. 

Make sure to stock up on items with a shelf life, and fresh produce that doesn’t need refrigeration—like tomatoes, oranges and apples.  Bread, butter and hard cheeses can survive without  refrigeration.  Hunger can sometimes hinder you from thinking straight… here are some points to keep in mind for food safety during the loss of electricity at home:   

  • An empty unit can hold its temperature after power is lost for up to 3 hours.  If your refrigerator has food inside, it can maintain its temperature longer.  More food equals more time.  Keep the door closed as much as possible and you can retain it’s cold temperature for roughly 4 hours.
  • A full freezer can keep its temperature for about 48 hours.  If you only have it half full, it should stay for 24 hours.  If you have only a few items, move it all in one corner.  Keep door shut.
  • When power returns, discard any perishables that have been above 42F for over 2 hours.  If it doesn’t smell right, it’s not right.
  • If you have unpleasant odors in your refrigerator or freezer, SUB-ZERO recommends the following:

Remove all products from your refrigerator and/or freezer and use bleach and water solution to thoroughly wipe the internal cavity. Immediately after cleaning, place crumpled-up newspaper in the unit (even before power is restored). Once your power has been restored, the unit will return to the last stored settings. We suggest you run the unit at regular temperature settings with the newspaper for one week’s time to absorb any remaining odor. The default, recommended temperature settings are 38 degrees for refrigerator units and 0 degrees for freezer units.

 

 

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